The "City of God" or the "City of Man"? This is the choice St. Augustine offered 1500 years ago--and according to Pierre Manent the modern West has decisively and irreversibly chosen the latter. In this subtle and wide-ranging book on the Western intellectual and political condition, Manent argues that the West has rejected the laws of God and of nature in a quest for human autonomy. But in declaring ourselves free and autonomous, he contends, we have, paradoxically, lost a sense of what it means to be human. In the first part of the book, Manent explores the development of the social sciences since the seventeenth century, portraying their growth as a sign of increasing human "self-consciousness." But as social scientists have sought to free us from the intellectual confines of the ancient world, he writes, they have embraced modes of analysis--economic, sociological, and historical--that treat only narrow aspects of the human condition and portray individuals as helpless victims of impersonal forces. As a result, we have lost all sense of human agency and of the unified human subject at the center of intellectual study. Politics and culture have come to be seen as mere foam on the tides of historical and social necessity. In the second half of the book, titled "Self-Affirmation," Manent examines how the West, having discovered freedom, then discovered arbitrary will and its dangers. With no shared touchstones or conceptions of virtue, for example, we have found it increasingly hard to communicate with each other. This is a striking contrast to the past, he writes, when even traditions as different as the Classical and the Christian held many of these conceptions in common. The result of these discoveries, according to Manent, is the disturbing rootlessness that characterizes our time. By gaining autonomy from external authority, we have lost a sense of what we are. In "giving birth" to ourselves, we have abandoned that which alone can nurture and sustain us. With penetrating insight and remarkable erudition, Manent offers a profound analysis of the confusions and contradictions at the heart of the modern condition.
On the history of fashion and mass culture
"Rosanvallon argues that social policies must be more narrowly targeted. And he draws on evidence form around the world, in particular France and the U.S., to show that such programs as unemployment insurance and workfare could better reflect individual needs by, for example, making more explicit use of contracts between the providers and receivers of benefits. His arguments have broad implications for welfare programs everywhere and for our understanding of citizenship in modern democracies and economies."--BOOK JACKET.
This is a sweeping and provocative work of aesthetic theory: a trenchant critique of the philosophy of art as it developed from the eighteenth century to the early twentieth century, combined with a carefully reasoned plea for a new and more flexible approach to art. Jean-Marie Schaeffer, one of France's leading aestheticians, explores the writings of Kant, Schlegel, Novalis, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Heidegger to show that these diverse thinkers shared a common approach to art, which he calls the "speculative theory." According to this theory, art offers a special kind of intuitive, quasi-mystical knowledge, radically different from the rational knowledge acquired by science. This view encouraged theorists to consider artistic geniuses the high-priests of humanity, creators of works that reveal the invisible essence of the world. Philosophers came to regard inexpressibility as the aim of art, refused to consider second-tier creations genuine art, and helped to create conditions in which the genius was expected to shock, puzzle, and mystify the public. Schaeffer shows that this speculative theory helped give birth to romanticism, modernism, and the avant-garde, and paved the way for an unfortunate divorce between art and enjoyment, between "high art" and popular art, and between artists and their public. Rejecting the speculative approach, Schaeffer concludes by defending a more tolerant theory of art that gives pleasure its due, includes popular art, tolerates less successful works, and accounts for personal tastes. "[A] remarkable work.... [Schaeffer's] writing is governed by ... the ideals of clarity and consequence, the ideas of logic, truth, and evidence.... Schaeffer is so precise and unrelenting a philosophical critic that one wonders how some of the philosophies he anatomizes here can possibly survive the operation."--From the foreword by Arthur C. Danto
Did Freud present a scientific hypothesis about the unconscious, as he always maintained and as many of his disciples keep repeating? This question has long prompted debates concerning the legitimacy and usefulness of psychoanalysis, and it is of utmost importance to Lacanian analysts, whose main project has been to stress Freud's scientific grounding. Here Jacques Bouveresse, a noted authority on Ludwig Wittgenstein, contributes to the debate by turning to this Austrian-born philosopher and contemporary of Freud for a candid assessment of the early issues surrounding psychoanalysis. Wittgenstein, who himself had delivered a devastating critique of traditional philosophy, sympathetically pondered Freud's claim to have produced a scientific theory in proposing a new model of the human psyche. What Wittgenstein recognized--and what Bouveresse so eloquently stresses for today's reader--is that psychoanalysis does not aim to produce a change limited to the intellect but rather seeks to provoke an authentic change of human attitudes. The beauty behind the theory of the unconscious for Wittgenstein is that it breaks away from scientific, causal explanations to offer new forms of thinking and speaking, or rather, a new mythology. Offering a critical view of all the texts in which Wittgenstein mentions Freud, Bouveresse immerses us in the intellectual climate of Vienna in the early part of the twentieth century. Although we come to see why Wittgenstein did not view psychoanalysis as a science proper, we are nonetheless made to feel the philosopher's sense of wonder and respect for the cultural task Freud took on as he found new ways meaningfully to discuss human concerns. Intertwined in this story of Wittgenstein's grappling with the theory of the unconscious is the story of how he came to question the authority of science and of philosophy itself. While aiming primarily at the clarification of Wittgenstein's opinion of Freud, Bouveresse's book can be read as a challenge to the French psychoanalytic school of Lacan and as a provocative commentary on cultural authority.
We live in the grip of a great illusion about politics, Pierre Manent argues in A World beyond Politics? It's the illusion that we would be better off without politics--at least national politics, and perhaps all politics. It is a fantasy that if democratic values could somehow detach themselves from their traditional national context, we could enter a world of pure democracy, where human society would be ruled solely according to law and morality. Borders would dissolve in unconditional internationalism and nations would collapse into supranational organizations such as the European Union. Free of the limits and sins of politics, we could finally attain the true life. In contrast to these beliefs, which are especially widespread in Europe, Manent reasons that the political order is the key to the human order. Human life, in order to have force and meaning, must be concentrated in a particular political community, in which decisions are made through collective, creative debate. The best such community for democratic life, he argues, is still the nation-state. Following the example of nineteenth-century political philosophers such as Alexis de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill, Manent first describes a few essential features of democracy and the nation-state, and then shows how these characteristics illuminate many aspects of our present political circumstances. He ends by arguing that both democracy and the nation-state are under threat--from apolitical tendencies such as the cult of international commerce and attempts to replace democratic decisions with judicial procedures.
Als der 5-jährige Matthew verschwindet, geht ein Aufschrei durch London. In den Zeitungen erscheint sein Bild – und die Psychotherapeutin Frieda Klein kann es nicht fassen: Matthew gleicht bis ins Detail dem Wunschkind eines verzweifelten kinderlosen Patienten von ihr. Ist dieser Mann ein brutaler Psychopath? Warum hat sie das als Therapeutin nicht schon vorher bemerkt? Zusammen mit Inspector Karlsson stößt Frieda auf Parallelen zum Verschwinden eines Mädchens vor mehr als zwanzig Jahren. Sie kommt dem Entführer immer näher. Doch es ist ein Wettlauf gegen die Zeit ...
Sie kam, sah - und datete Endlich ist es so weit: Carrie kommt nach New York! Ein heißer Sommer wartet auf sie. Eine glitzernde Stadt voller verrückter Leute, Vintage-Boutiquen und wilder Partys – Carrie kann nicht genug davon bekommen. Und von dem todschicken, einfach umwerfenden Typen, den sie dort trifft. Sie lernt Samantha und Miranda kennen, und ganz allmählich wird aus dem Provinzmädchen die Carrie Bradshaw, die wir kennen und lieben – auch wenn das viel komplizierter wird, als Carrie es sich je vorgestellt hat.
"Ein wildes, großartiges Buch." Tobias Gohlis, DIE ZEIT Hurrikan Katrina hat New Orleans verwüstet. Claire DeWitt soll in diesem Chaos den verschollenen Staatsanwalt Vic Willing finden. Kein Problem für die beste und verrückteste Ermittlerin der Welt! Mit Hilfe ihres Detektivhandbuchs, ihrer I-Ging-Münzen und ihrer Traumdeutungen hat Claire noch jeden Fall gelöst ...
From Paul French, the New York Times bestselling author of Midnight in Peking—winner of both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction—comes City of Devils, a rags-to-riches tale of two self-made men set against a backdrop of crime and vice in the sprawling badlands of Shanghai. Shanghai, 1930s: It was a haven for outlaws from all over the world: a place where pasts could be forgotten, fascism and communism outrun, names invented, and fortunes made—and lost. “Lucky” Jack Riley was the most notorious of those outlaws. An ex–U.S. Navy boxing champion, he escaped from prison and rose to become the Slots King of Shanghai. “Dapper” Joe Farren—a Jewish boy who fled Vienna’s ghetto—ruled the nightclubs. His chorus lines rivaled Ziegfeld’s. In 1940, Lucky Jack and Dapper Joe bestrode the Shanghai Badlands like kings, while all around the Solitary Island was poverty, starvation, and war. They thought they ruled Shanghai, but the city had other ideas. This is the story of their rise to power, their downfall, and the trail of destruction left in their wake. Shanghai was their playground for a flickering few years, a city where for a fleeting moment even the wildest dreams could come true.
This remarkable volume presents a panorama of geographical writings from Hesiod to Humboldt, from the beginnings of geographical thought in the Western world to the emergence of topical specialization. It includes a wealth of material from non-Western sources, particularly Moslem and Chinese, that has not been collected before. The selections are arranged chronologically, and contain geographical theory, descriptions of terrestrial phenomena by early observers, and excerpts from major voyages of discovery. Some are obvious classics: Socrates on the nature of the Earth, Ezekiel's description of the commerce of Tyre, Columbus' first glimpse of the West Indies, Buffon on the history of the Earth, and Kant's geographical lectures. Yet more commonly, Mr. Kish provides a sense of the discovery with such finds as the ambassador's report to the Caliph of Baghdad on the lands and customs of the Norsemen, the study of the Tartar Empire by John of Monte Corvino, Archbishop of Peking, and Jefferson's private memo to Alexander von Humboldt seeking information on the American West. Each section is highlighted by a brief but engagingly written introduction by the editor. Throughout, the unique cultural and professional perspective of George Kish is very much in evidence.

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